The Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop


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ACAW 2020 Presentation Videos are Now Available!

ACAW is a hands-on research and development workshop for architects and facade engineers to explore the use of terra cotta in high-performance facade design.

Representatives of industry and academia from around the world gather virtually for the fifth annual Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop, presented by Boston Valley Terra Cotta and the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning and supported by the UB Sustainable Manufacturing and Advanced Robotic Technologies (SMART).

The workshop’s objective is to introduce and consider the properties of terra cotta earlier in the architect’s design process and to develop research and design models between manufacturing and architectural industries useful to the efficient production of high-performance facade solutions. Through pre-design and prototype development, teams’ exploration includes the use of new digital tools in the production of terra cotta assemblies, the development of unitized façade systems, and how the variable materiality of terra cotta (through-body color, finish and glaze) can inform and enhance a façade’s performance.

Typically, the ACAWorkshop culminates in a weeklong event (except this year’s virtual version), with teams constructing system models from their prototypes, and presenting their studies to peers in the industry. Check out our News section for articles about the ACAWorkshops. To see explorations from previous years or purchase Bioclimatic Ceramic Assemblies I and II check out the Research & Analysis page and Lectures page under Past Workshops.

Interested in Participating in ACAW 2021?

Planning for next year’s 2021 workshop is underway. Corporate, Academic, and Multi-discipline teams (+/- 5 people) are welcome to contact us today for more information.


Boston Valley Terra Cotta

Boston Valley Terra Cotta was established by the Krouse family in 1981 following the purchase of Boston Valley Pottery, a company that had been in existence since 1889. Originally a brick manufacturing facility and later a clay pot manufacturer, Boston Valley Pottery was converted to an architectural terra cotta facility by the Krouses. Utilizing both superior terra cotta engineering knowledge and sculpting talent, Boston Valley Terra Cotta has become one of the leading manufacturers of architectural terra cotta in the country.

Sustainable Manufacturing and Advanced Robotic Technologies (SMART)

Building upon The University at Buffalo’s reputation as a leader in advanced manufacturing and design, the Sustainable Manufacturing and Advanced Robotic Technologies (SMART) community will help create the next generation of technologies, processes, and education.

SMART pursues research that aligns UB’s capacity in engineering, architecture, management, economics and health sciences to bring products to market faster, regardless of their size and complexity, while remaining ecologically and economically sustainable.


John Krouse

CEO, Boston Valley Terra Cotta

Omar Khan

Head, Department of Architecture,
Carnegie Mellon University

Mitchell Bring

ACAWorkshop Coordinator

Adjunct Professor,
Department of Architecture
University at Buffalo

Andy Brayman

ACAWorkshop Glaze Consultant

Ceramic Artist, Matter Factory

Be a Participant in 2021! Learn More About the Workshop.

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